I want to send a shout out to Austin Energy

August 28, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
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That a way to keep the power going.

I’m sitting here, blogging in the dark.

I’m not sure what you people are going to do in the event of a real emergency, if you can’t even keep the power on when there’s a minor summer thunderstorm.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

August 25, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
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To my friends without kids – why I’m always late

August 25, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
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I’ve been meaning to write this for a while:

I hear that tone in your voice. See the look in your eye and a certain set of your shoulders. You’re annoyed.

I’m late again.

Well. Let me tell you why I’m late. Again:

I have a child. Not just a child. A toddler. And here’s how a trip out the door goes:

  1. I have to convince her that we need to go. This might involve a chase scene reminiscent of “The French Connection.” But I’m no Gene Hackman in his prime. I get winded and have to sit down.
  2. Finally get her convinced that we need to go. Now to get her dressed. You see, after I got her out of the dirty diaper and into clean training pants (yay, she’s working on using the potty!) she wanted to keep wearing her pajamas. Now that she’s ready to wear street clothes, she’s taken exception to the orange and green outfit. She wants the outfit with the cool kitty cat. Turns out that’s dirty. After 10 minutes of trying to explain cool kitty cat is dirty and in the laundry, we reach a compromise – flamingo shirt with pink shorts. Check with her to see if she needs to go potty. It’s more important to put the cow and horse in the castle. Obviously, going to potty is not a priority right now. Tear her away from the toys long enough to get her dressed. Shoes. I need shoes. I go get shoes.
  3. I return to the living room to find her stripping out of her shorts and training pants. They are, of course, wet. As is the carpet. Turns out she DID have to go potty. She wants to sit on the potty. So I let her sit on the potty. She decides she needs to go play with the quail and vulture in the zoo. Quail, she informs me, needs a bath. My pleading and begging, by the way, are useless, serving only to spark a near meltdown. Five minutes later, quail is clean, and she’s back on the potty.
  4. No, no she’s not. She’s at her bookshelf, looking for the potty book. Ah! Potty book found. Back on the potty. I got to check the bag to make sure I have everything; a couple of toys, a book, drink, snacks, wipes, spare change of clothes, another change of clothes, a spare pair of training pants. Crap! Almost forgot a spare diaper! I go into the bathroom to get a spare diaper – just as she comes running out with a wipe covered in her own feces.
  5. “Daddy, I cleaning up poop on the floor!” I grab her clean hand, gently turn her back towards the bathroom, and see, arrayed in a nice exclamatory pile, her poop. In an effort to be helpful, she’s tried to put it into the big potty. She missed. In an effort to be helpful, she’s started cleaning up the poop with a baby wipe. Luckily, I removed the rug yesterday, since she spilled peepee on it.
  6. I get her to release the fecal covered wipe into the diaper champ, get her started on washing her hands, and run to the kitchen to get paper towels and sanitary wipes. Run back to the bathroom. Where she’s decided to use the little medicine cup thingee to splash water all over the vanity. I wash my hands, dry her off, dry off the vanity, turn off the water, and send her into the living room to play.
  7. While she watches and suggests that she, too, would like to help get the poop into the potty, and asserts that she got poop on the carpet, and that daddy is cleaning up the poop, I do, in fact, clean up the poop. This, by the way, was a fruit poop, not a cheese poop. If you have kids, you’ll understand. Mess cleaned up, I wash my hands. She runs to the kitchen. “I want candy! I want candy!”
  8. Some how, by some miracle, before she gets candy, I get her into an outfit that is A) Clean and 2) Acceptable. Parrot shirt is good. Another set of pink shorts is good. I go to get shoes and socks, and step right into the patch of wet carpet. She still wants candy. I tried to dissuade her with promises of ice cream after lunch. To a toddler, there is no such thing as delayed gratification; gratification delayed is gratification denied…forever. I go to get the steam vac, near the kitchen. While there, I get her a piece of candy. Peanut M&M. She’s happy. I’m happy. The whole world is happy. But there’s still urine on the carpet. Steam vac into the living room. Five minutes later, I have, supposedly, removed most of the urine from the carpet. I take the steam vac back, and return to the living room. What was I doing?
  9. Oh, right! Shoes! I go back to get the shoes and socks. I return to…
  10. The living room, where she’s decided that swallowing the Peanut M&M just isn’t as much fun as letting it leak down her chin and parrot shirt. I peel off the shirt (white, of course, and fairly new, gift from a relative), and rush it to the bathroom to rinse and do stain triage. Rinse, squirt, rub, soak, I turn around, she’s got cholcolate and peanut running down her chin. Poised on her chin, the drop heaves itself into the empty air, and falls, silently, to the carpet. Great.
  11. I grab the wash rag, wet it, wipe her face. Dab up as much as I can of the spittle infused chocolate on the carpet. Look up, see what I missed, and clean her face a bit more. Good… At this point, I’m only 15 minutes late.

    The washcloth, is, of course, white. Rinse, squirt, rub, soak.
  12. Find another outfit. At this point, she’s not picky. Though she wants to wear sandals, not shoes. I grab a pair of sandals that match. She doesn’t want to wear those sandals, and insists on choosing her own sandals. They don’t match. I don’t care.
  13. I put on my own shoes. That way, I won’t know if I step on any more wet patches. They can wait until the next time I steam clean the carpet.
  14. I realize I do have her dressed, relatively clean, in some kind of foot wear, but that I have not combed her hair. I do so. Except she doesn’t like getting her hair sprayed. Usually, it’s not an issue. Today, it is. Five minutes later, I’ve got her calmed down, and I begin combing her hair.
  15. I got her headed towards the car, and I pick up a bear for her to play with in the car. Get her strapped in, and realize I forgot a snack and drink. Well, she reminds me. She wants goldfish. I run back in, and get the animal crackers I forgot to put in the bag. I give her animal crackers. She doesn’t want those. I run back into the house…and can’t find the open bag of goldfish. Into the pantry – open a new bag of gold fish – look for a container – screw it. I’ll bring the whole bag. I grab the water I forgot, and run back out to the car. I start the car, realize I don’t have my phone, and run back into the house. I get back to the car, and she informs me she wants her milk. “Water?” I offer, hopefully. And in vain. I run back in to get the milk. I come back to her screaming that she needs her three bears. Crap. The bears became a set while on vacation. I run back to her room to find the other two bears. Which I do find, in fairly short order. Just before stepping out the door, I remember to grab my wallet.
  16. Back in the car, we’re good to go – except I left the bag on top of the car when I was getting her in. Out to get the bag, back in, back out, close garage door, and we’re off.

    Yeah, sure, we’re 45 minutes late but we’re on our way. We’ll be there. I’d call, but turns out I forgot my phone.

    You better be there too. I need this lunch, I need some sanity. What I don’t need is that tone in your voice. That look in your eye. That certain set of your shoulders. Sure you’re annoyed. I’m suffering from PTSD – Parent of Toddler Stress Syndrome. Get over yourself.

First, practically everything in this list has happened. Just…not all at once. Although several of these things have happened just in the last couple of days.

Picture of the Week

August 25, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Emma 


A phrase I thought I’d never say… (update: Or hear…)

August 21, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
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“And don’t put the screwdriver up your nose…”

“Tiger smewwing flamingo’s BUTT. Tiger eating flamingo’s BUTT.”

Seriously – where did she get THAT??

This last week

August 18, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Emma 

So she’s started using the potty with more frequency – which is very good news, indeed.

Even better will be when she does it without being prompted. She’s not quite there yet.

And here’s something weird. She gets a treat after she uses the potty; Candy. (Or, as she says, “tandy.”)

Well, today, I gave her a licorice jellybean after she went potty. I told her that her greatgrandma Emma liked licorice. I’m not sure about the first one – she did eat it, but had that “I’m not sure about this, but I’m eating it anyway” or “I know this is ‘tandy’ so it’s supposed to be good…maybe if I chew long enough it will become good.” look. But when I asked if she wanted a licorice jellybean the second time, she did seem to enjoy it more.

She seems to like some rather pungently flavored foods; sauerkraut, dijon mustard and licorice. Maybe she won’t be as picky as Margaret and I.

And this is pretty funny…whoa! Hold up! She just told me “You wanna go poop and pee pee on your potty.”

Now…where was I? Oh, yeah. She picked up a random movie the other day, and said “You wanna watch a movie ’bout dis movie.” (Also, she calls any disc a DVD. In Costco the other day, she pointed at the movies and asserted that “Those are Dee-Vee-Dees.”)

Society reaps what it sows in nurturing its children

August 8, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
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Society reaps what it sows in nurturing its children. Whether abuse of a child is physical, psychological, or sexual, it sets off a ripple of hormonal changes that wire the child’s brain to cope with a malevolent world. It predisposes the child to have a biological basis for fear, though he may act and pretend otherwise. Early abuse molds the brain to be more irritable, impulsive, suspicious, and prone to be swamped by fight-or-flight reactions that the rational mind may be unable to control. The brain is programmed to a state of defensive adaptation, enhancing survival in a world of constant danger, but at a terrible price. To a brain so tuned, Eden itself would seem to hold its share of dangers; building a secure, stable relationship may later require virtually superhuman personal growth and transformation.

— Dr. Martin Teicher

Triptych: “You pway ‘axaphone wike Chawie Pahkeh”

August 4, 2006 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Emma 

She picked up the fence from her “Little People” play sets, stuck it in her mouth, and said “You play saxophone like Charlie Parker.”

It makes a dad so proud! Where does she get these ideas? From a cute little board book, “Charlie Parker Parker Played Be-Bop” [Amazon.com – though I don’t think this is the board book version].

playing the fencephone.
Alphabet alphabet, alphabet, alph

playing the fencephone.
Chickadee, chickadee, chickadee, chick

playing the fencephone.
Overshoes, overshoes, overshoes, o

A little while later, we chatted about Charlie Parker, jazz, and be-bop. I’m not sure she quite understood.

Reeti-footi, reeti-footi, reeti-footi, ree